It’s hard to believe that in a few short weeks the New Year’s Eve ball will drop, marking the end of another year and the beginning of new hopes and dreams. I find it to be an interesting time of year, as there are so many different thoughts and emotions compressed into this one night.

Often, we will reflect on the past and face regrets of another year gone. We will focus on the things we could have done better. We will remember the loved ones we lost. Tears may be shed as we look back on the hardships we faced. We made it through the year, and we are finally ready to turn the page.

It’s also a time when we will look to the future with great anticipation of what the new year will bring. It’s a chance to put behind us the things we messed up and build upon the good things in our lives. It’s a time when we make promises to handle money better, pay down debt, save for retirement, love our spouse a little better, be a better friend, have a better attitude, become a better person….and the list goes on. Most importantly, though, it’s an opportunity for us to grow closer to God, because we know we wouldn’t have made it to today without Him; and we most certainly will need Him if we are going to survive tomorrow.

New Year’s Eve is a night when new life is breathed into our failed intentions from the previous year. I find it ironic that we celebrate the birth of our Savior, and then celebrate the chance to start anew a week later. Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life and then died on the cross for our sins, so that we may be made new. Jesus’ death marked the ultimate New Year.

Whatever challenges or failures we may have faced this past year, I praise God that He gave us the strength to persevere through the dark times. I praise God that He paid the ultimate price so that we may be forgiven for our shortcomings, our sins. I pray that we will grow closer to Him each and every day in the coming year. I pray that we will find joy and peace in the little things. And I praise God that He has blessed us with another opportunity to get it right, knowing darn well that we will irrefutably get it wrong at times – and yet He will still love us.